Give ’em hell (Alan)

Harry Truman was revered in my household when I was growing up. As with most icons, you learn stuff about them over the years that make you wince, but for the most part my childhood admiration for Truman holds up pretty well. Part of it is pretty personal: I was born in Kansas City, and first lived in Independence just a few blocks from his house. One my earliest memories is sitting with my mother watching his annual front-porch talk to students on TV. When my dad made his last trip back to Missouri before he died, we spent time at the Library and at the Truman birthplace in Nevada, Mo.

Three things Truman said have always stuck with me:

1. The only thing new under the sun is the history you don’t know yet.
2. Do what you know is right and then don’t worry about it.
3. A real Republican will beat a fake Republican every time, but a real Democrat can always win because real Democrats represent the interests of people who aren’t rich (which is most people).

I’ve often wondered if there are any real Democrats left anymore. I hear Tom Harkin thinks he can get 60 votes to break a filibuster against the public option, which is fine, I suppose (I have a Harkin-For-President sticker somewhere), but why put a 60-vote requirement on anything? Give working Americans what they want — a chance at real health care that won’t bankrupt them — and then watch the Republicans put themselves on the spot. Let ’em filibuster! The longer they talk, the worse they look. The beauty of the First Amendment is that most idiots will eventually believe their own crap and say what they really want sooner or later, and then folks will wise up.

The flip side of that is the whole “Give ’em hell, Harry” thing. The story goes that when someone yelled that to Truman during a speech, he quipped that all he had to do was tell the truth and the Republicans (led by Cincinnati native Robert Taft) would think it was hell.

So this clip makes me happy. Grayson is a freshman representative and I don’t know enough about him at the moment to lay any big hopes on him. But for one, bright shining moment, he spoke the truth. Good for him.

Anyone want to explain to me how he’s wrong?